WYNDELL Tapere, 39, never thought that he would become an “inatay” (ina at tatay) or a father-mother figure, at such a young age.
Since his wife, Vanessa, died four years ago, the 39-year-old father of five from San Fernando, Cebu had to juggle work and family time.
Tapere told SunStar Cebu that it was the Japanese martial art of karate that brought him and his wife together.
He and his wife first met as students of a defunct karate club at the University of San Jose-Recoletos back in their college days.
Their passion for karate developed into a love for each other, and eventually a union as husband and wife.
Their marriage produced five children - Adrianne Wayne, 12; Carl Wade, 11; twins Tish Wendy and Trix Wendy, 7; and John Wyndell, 6.
But the partnership did not last.
Vanessa died at the age of 35 after suffering from lupus.
When his wife died, Tapere said he never showed to his children that he was mourning.
“I needed to be strong for them,” he said.
In dealing with his kids, Tapere said he is tough with them.
“(I’m) tough when it comes to disciplining them. You need to be consistent with your policies at home. Kung unsa’y dili, dili gyud,” he pointed out.
But he said he would also show his soft and “motherly side” to his children. Tapere said he never forgets to hug his children especially when they are sad or upset.
“Di dapat biyaan ang kid nga naghilak. I-embrace gyud sila to let them feel somebody loves them,” Tapere said.
Tapere, who works as a clerk of court for the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) in Moalboal, said that although he works from afar, he makes it a point to go home to San Fernando to be with his children.
During weekends, Tapere said he never fails to spend time with his children. He goes out with them for dinner or to play video games.
Tapere said it his children that keeps him motivated.
“Just like any other parents, my kids’ bright future motivates me,” he said.
On the possibility of marrying again, Tapere admitted that he’s not considering it. He believes that he is better off as an “inatay” for his children.